Online dating and the human connection

This is a very different article to what I’ve previously written and as many of you know part of what I do is to work with people on one to one basis, supporting the mindset. 

Quite often a large part of my work is to help with people’s limiting self-beliefs in their private lives. The professional life is going extremely smoothly but their personal life does not mirror.

I have previously spoken about how we put hours upon hours of time into mastering a skill or trade, but unfortunately, we do not put the same effort into our personal life. 
We are finding that more and more people are struggling to meet that partner, lover, husband, wife, twin flame, soul mate, or whatever you choose to call it. With more and more people turning to online dating for support.  

A little bit about my personal life: I am happily single and have consciously spent the last few years nurturing my business. However, over the last 18 months, I have been doing a lot of work on myself, to find out what I would want a relationship to look like, for me. 
I have learned a lot about myself, reflected over past relationships and looked at where I needed to improve and grow. I now understand what values and qualities I will look for in a partner to enable us to grow and enhance each other’s lives, as a couple. I (very importantly) now understand my boundaries and what I think is acceptable and what is not. 

I have now taken those learnings and I am ready to move forward. My friends had joined together a few weeks ago and convinced me to join an online dating app. (This is something I had previously tried, with great reluctance and after 48 hours, lost the will to live). But thought it best I try again, on a different platform. I’ve currently survived day 10, as I am writing this. 

The reason for this short article is mainly out of support for some people who are trying to navigate these sites. From my perspective, there are some who are doing magnificently. However, they seem to be the minority. With the risk of sounding judgy… Some are needing a bit of work and support in this department! 

If you would like to meet somebody, who you could nurture a long-term relationship with? My advice would be to spend time on your profile. 
I thought I would put together some (humorous) top tips. 

I would like to point out, that I am in no way a dating expert and this is just from one woman’s perspective and these points are based on my experience, and my experience alone.
·       Recent photos are a MUST! No pictures that were taken 20 years ago. You are wanting a date, so the other person is eventually going to see what you look like. It’s always best to use an updated version of yourself. Start on the foot of honesty.  
·      Urinal toilet pictures. I cannot talk for all women, but I can for myself and the ones I know… We do not want to see a picture of you in the toilet! I also see a lot of women who are guilty of this. Often, on social media a group of girls having a great night out and their pictures are in the toilets!!!!!  I can guarantee you were in a beautiful restaurant or doing something nice, so there are other photo opportunities. Choose your backdrop wisely! 
·      Topless/naked photos. It is a big NO from me. We do not want to see unsolicited naked pictures, well most of us do not. However, if I did want to a see naked picture, I am sure there is another app or something similar that I could visit. Ask for permission before you over share, please! 
·      Toothbrush in hand on profile pic (?!) is a serious NO, NO. (Yep – this is true, and re-occurring) 
·      The biggest mistake is to show a picture where your ex-partner or ex-wife have been blurred/cut out. Some are still wearing a wedding band! I am not here to judge so, each to their own, but maybe make your intentions/personal situation clear from the get-go. 
·      Job status. Again, back to my previous point. You are eventually going to want to have a date, and if this progresses further, he/she’s going to know that you were trying being deceptive. Be honest from the beginning and cut the BS! 
·      People with no pictures….. No comment. 

Some people might want to challenge the above statements which is totally fine as these are only my opinion’s.
All jokes aside, most of these people are probably people who know what they want in their jobs, spending time mastering their trade, knowing what they need to do, to get the job done.  

So why is it that we do not spend that time on ourselves in our private lives? And master the art of:
·      Confidence
·      Boundaries
·      Self-care 
·      Respect for oneself 

Spending more time on ourselves: As you are reading this ask yourself, do you really understand:
·      your boundaries in a relationship?
·      what will make a relationship work for you?
·      your triggers?
·      your core values and those of your partners?
·      how to work on a relationship?
·      the needs of your partner?
·      how to rebalance your relationship?

I have spoken in my previous article before about being the best dad or being the best mum, the best partner, husband, or wife. 
Finding that partner these days can be a difficult process. Whether this is finding someone online or on an ad hock night out, it is difficult for some to meet that potential person. 

I met someone last year when I was away with my Mum and Sister in Bath, from my perspective there was an instant attraction there, one that I had not felt in a while. We had a few drinks together, spent some time over the weekend and exchanged numbers, however as the film goes: “he just wasn’t that into me” 🙂 and I accepted it, however finding that chemistry, isn’t easy these days. 

That specific weekend the gentleman reminded me of what was important for me. The spark, the human connection and he reminded me that it can be found. He had ignited that spark for me and had some lovely qualities (friendship was one of them). We were at the bar speaking and his friend had lost his phone, instantly he went and helped him look for it, only returning when it had been found. Now that may not seem like much, but they had been friends for years and it was obvious that evening that loyalty to his friends was important to him. To me, that was a beautiful quality, he was smart, charismatic and witty. 

Let’s take your relationship, It is vital to understand what is important to your partner, and do they mirror your views. What are their traits and values that will align with yours? What are your non negotiables in a relationship? 

Before that weekend, my attention was with my work. The thought of dating was not at the for front, I had been on dates but I knew up until that point I was not ready for long term commitment.

I have been on a couple of dates since but have not connected with someone who has made me feel that spark. 
So now I am creating a deeper understanding that the human connection is so very important to me. But the question I will ask to myself is: In what way is that human connection important? In what way is communication important to me? In what way is respect important to me? In what way is that charisma important to me? In what way is witty important to me? 

Why not ask yourselves those deeper questions and get to know you better. Drill down and drill down further. Really understand who you are.  Understand those values and what happens when they are not met/respected? 

Do you understand what your core values are? Do you have an understanding of how these impact you every single day?  Recognising and understanding your partner’s core values can make or break a relationship. Knowing what “makes them tick”, their “triggers” and what happens to them when they do or don’t have their core values respected, and, how they show up as a result? Having these discussions can really strengthen your connection. 

Love is one of the most profound emotions known to human beings.  It comes in many forms: The love of our family, work, pets and even material things. However, the love of a partner comes with a different connotation. To build that consistent relationship requires constant care and communication.

The dating app lacks that human connection, for me, hence why I did not have much patience for it. I might have said no to someone because I did not connect to the picture but if I had met them face to face, It might have been a different story. Charisma, humour, connection is so difficult to portray in a photo. 

We cannot underestimate the power of that human connection, face to face conversations, sitting close to someone and feeling their energy. That is also more difficult via video links etc (especially with lockdown added to the mix).  Do not get me wrong, there are huge success stories with dating app’s and the whole point is to start a conversation and then meet up. I’m realising, maybe I just don’t have the patience for it, and my future partner will adore me for just that. 

I have chosen to be Single for a time because I was not ready to meet the person that would be in my life full time. I knew I had more work to do on myself and that I will not settle, because for me, setting will inevitably lead to a break-up down the line. 
I now appreciate the true value of spending time understanding what I need to enable a relationship to flourish. 

For me what’s important is: working on your relationship, nurturing your relationship, loving your relationship, growing with your relationship, having patience, having perseverance, having fun, being inquisitive, being spontaneous and having space and time within your relationship.

However, this must work both ways. Let me ask you, how much effort do we put into our job every day? How much effort do we put into learning a new skill to be on top of our game? Can we honestly say we do this within our personal relationship?
Take time out to think, really think about this. Think about what that relationship is going to look like for you?
I met a lovely lady a few years ago that was due to retire, her husband had retired a few years before. She was nervous about being together every day. They had been married for over 30 years, they got on well, but as she admitted they were very different people to when they first met over 30 years ago. 

There were no children at home to keep their minds occupied as they had all grown up and flown the nest, it was just the two of them. So, I asked her to take the values exercise home and work on it together, go for a nice meal and spend that time within the exercise, having those discussions around the topic. There were specific questions they needed to work through and had to elicit their core values.

She came back the following week and felt alive. They had reconnected after 30 years together, spending that time in that exercise had not only reignited conversations but also, they learnt so much more about each other. Of course, they were different people form 30 years ago.

We evolve, we change, we develop, that is normal, and sometimes we change in a very different way, where two people just want different things – and that’s ok. 

Society taught us that we must stay together for a lifetime. Although, if two people are not happy, and two people have genuinely grown apart, surely it makes sense to talk about it, try and reconnect. If the two parties are content that they have done their best, why do we need to stay in a loveless relationship? That does not serve anyone when the two parties would be happier apart.  Do not get me wrong, I desire to find that long term partner and I am sure we can all think of a couple who have been together for over 30 years and are very happy – It’s out there and happening for some. 

Having that human connection that soul mate that you can trust, respect, and rely on is priceless. 
So, here is to learning more about ourselves and the power of human connection.

Please feel free to reach out 
Love always 

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